I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
(Written to paraphrase words and thoughts put forth through several speeches by Martin Luther King Jr.)
I have seen this quote in so many places today, and I think it is the perfect way to express my feelings on the death of Osama Bin Laden.
All the pain and suffering he caused is unimaginable to me. He was such a hateful, and narrow minded man who unfortunately knew how to lead people with similar views to his own. He caused so much pain, death and destruction, but yet I cannot rejoice that he is dead.
I hope that the news of his death will be bring some measure of peace to all the families and friends that lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks, but I’m sure that many of them would tell you that the death of this tyrant will not truly bring them peace. It will not bring back all the many people that died that day, or the lives of the troops that were lost in this “War on Terror”.
This death cannot even guarantee an end to the war!
Human history has shown that retaliation is built into our species. If a wolf fights another wolf and one dies, it’s pack does not seek revenge on the winner, but we as humans do.
Yes I can see how that retaliation can be viewed as a proactive assault in order to keep ourselves safe from another attack, and to show that we are strong and will not just lay down and let you win, but can you honestly say that there is not even the smallest part of us that sees it as revenge? You did all these unspeakable things to us, so we’re going to come and get you now!
Sadly I think this war is far from over. Even if there is no attack in the next few days, or weeks, or even months I just can’t shake the feeling that it’s coming. Why after all that has happened would a terrorist group like Al Quada stop just because one man is dead? Does anyone honestly think that Bin Laden will not become like a modern day prophet to them? That his teachings and dogma won’t be passed on to another generation to breed more hate and intolerance? Those things existed before Bin Laden took power and I’m sure will continue long after.
For goodness sake! Since the 1960’s, almost every James Bond movie shows the Western world fighting terrorists! Of course not all of them were racists and communists. Some were just greedy and money hungry…hense all the ransom demands. And YES I know that James Bond is not a realistic example of a true War on Terror, but it goes to show that it has been part of our media for decades, and those ideas were created from examples in current media and also history.
Hitler died over 60 years ago, but there are still hate groups that wear the Swastika and preach they hatred of other races and religions. They read Mein Kompf and teach their children these reprehensible lessons of hatred, and destruction.
Ideas don’t die just because the Poster boy for the cause dies. And my greatest example of this brings us back to the quote at the beginning of this post. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great and powerful man. He literally did have a dream and was strong enough to lead others into that dream. He was murdered on April 4th, 1968 and after 43 years, his message and his teachings are still strong and effective.
I use this amazing person as an example to show that you do not have to be alive to head a movement. Mr. King gave us his message, and had so many people to help carry it out. I’m grateful everyday that his was a message of peace, and love of our fellow man.
Bin Laden was a tyrant that twisted the words and actions of others to suit his own purposes. He twisted his faith into something so far from what Islam truly is to try and justify his hate. He also left behind a powerful message to his followers. It’s not a good message, but it is still a message, and I have no doubt that another leader will rise to continue what Bin Laden started.
And something that so many people do not realize is that Bin Laden as a Muslim was also the enemy of many other Muslims. What many people don’t know is that just like Christianity having so many different sects and churches (Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, etc), Muslims have just as many different sects. They all stem from the same Koran, just as the Christians all study a Bible, but the different sects do have different interpretations of the words of Mohammed. Some have different “laws” that they live by, and some that almost all of them share. In recent years some give more free choice to it’s followers. For example: In many countries, women have the right to Choose if they wish to wear the traditional Hijab, and not all men choose to wear the traditional Turban or skull caps.
Bin Laden believed in returning to a truly fundamentalist view of Islam. Basically it was a very traditional form of the religion, and he treated it with a “My way or the Highway” approach. We all know the attrocities performed by the Taliban, and his views were similar. Not only was this limiting Human rights, but it also created such a negative view of Islam to many outsiders, that simply do not understand the religion beyond what they see in the Media.
This is obvious in the way that people attacked and accused Muslims in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Just because a person is a Muslim it DOES NOT make them a terrorist!
As I said earlier in this post, I think this War is far from over. I can only hope that I am proven wrong.